7 Ways Tea Can Help Your Skin

Drink up! From preventing sunburns to aiding elasticity, discover all the ways tea can improve the health and appearance of your skin.
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Is Healthy Skin Your Cup of Tea?

If you like sipping on iced tea in the summer, or waking up — English style — to a steaming cuppa, you're in luck. Tea has been linked to many health benefits, including lower rates of depression and heart disease. And there's even some research showing it's good for your skin. Herbal, caffeinated and decaf teas are all hydrating. (And getting plenty of fluids, from sources including water, tea and hydrating foods, will help prevent your skin from getting dry and flaky.) Here's how seven types of tea can help keep your skin looking good.

Green Tea

Drinking green tea may help protect your skin against sunburn (although diligently applying sunscreen and avoiding the sun at peak hours are the best ways to prevent it!). That's because green tea is rich in a class of flavonoids called catechins, which may help fend off UVB damage. A 2016 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggested that drinking the equivalent of five cups of green tea per day can supply your skin with detectable amounts of catechins.

Black Tea

One of the biggest threats to your skin is UVB radiation from the sun. When you take in polyphenols (a class of natural compounds found in food) through your diet, you help boost your skin's defense against sun damage. Black tea contains catechins, a type of polyphenol that helps protect against sunburn.

Yerba Mate

Sometimes called "the green tea of South America," yerba mate is a caffeinated, toasty-flavored tea. Like green tea, yerba mate has been investigated for its antioxidant effects.

Chamomile Tea

A cup of brewed chamomile tea has 5 percent of your daily value of manganese, an important mineral for making collagen, the thing that keeps your skin elastic.

Rooibos

Rooibos, a caffeine-free herbal tea from South Africa, also known as "red bush" tea, is loaded with antioxidants. In general, antioxidants help prevent cells from damage by free radicals. In South African traditional medicine, rooibos has been used topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers make a beautiful deep-pink tea. In a 2016 study, researchers found that polyphenols in hibiscus flowers inhibited the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells in test tubes. The researchers believe these same polyphenols are present in hibiscus tea.

Kukicha (Twig Tea)

Looking for a natural face wash for oily skin? Try this macrobiotic home remedy, containing cooled, brewed kukicha tea.